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I’ve talked about creating a Curated Wardrobe on the blog before but today I want to talk workdrobe — your wardrobe for work. Wether you’re trying to get a job or are well ahead in your career, having a signature work look is what sets you apart. It can work for you as part of your person branding — a work uniform can become that recognizable that it is what sells you. It sells a certain assumption about who you are as an ambitious woman.
But creating a signature work look can be daunting when you want to make the right impression. Hopefully this post will help you on your journey to create your signature work uniform.
WHY STYLE IS PART OF YOUR PERSONAL BRANDING
Did you know that you only have seven seconds to make a strong first impression? That means that the second you walk into a meeting, the office or room for a job application, you need to look the part.
Style can be very personal and recognizable. Like Emmanuelle Alt and her belts or Meghan Markle’s structured wool coats. They wear certain looks and are known for them. Not just that, it’s their work uniform. It’s what looks good on them and works in a professional setting. On top of that, it makes them stand out.
Before you start putting together your workdrobe — new favorite word to be honest — you want to find inspiration. Personally I love using Pinterest to pin all my favorite looks in one place but I also use the Instagram saved function whenever I come across a look that sparks joy in me.
Look at everything you’ve just pinned or saved and pick out the similarities. Do you see a lot of checkered blazers? Scour the internet to find the perfect blazer. Do you see a lot of belted wool camel coats? Find your version. Slowly you’ll put together your own workdrobe.
Need inspiration to start pinning to your inspiration board? Visit my Pinterest work uniform board.
WHAT LOOKS BEST ON YOU
Often times you have items you love wearing in your daily life that you can translate into a signature work look. Okay, so a fleece sweater might not be an option but a cashmere is definitely an option. Both soft on the skin.
If you love wearing dresses in your downtime, you might as well get some work appropriate dresses. Love wearing joggers? Try slacks. They are just as comfortable but look the part.
For brainstorming your workdrobe, use my curated wardrobe printable that you can get for free here. It will get you insight into what you need to buy.
ALSO READ: 5 AWESOME BRANDS FOR TECH SAVVY WOMEN
LIST YOUR WORK OCCASIONS
Do you have office parties coming up or have dinner meetings quite often? Travel a lot for work? Or are you running your own company that means you need to show your face at network meetings? Write them down! You need items that you can wear to all of these special occasions.
If you have the odd occasional lunch meeting or you’re traveling consists of a twenty minute train ride, you don’t need to invest in too many special items. I would choose one simple item you can wear time and time again and make it look like new with accessories.
CHOOSE A SIGNATURE WORK LOOK ITEM
After you’ve decided what your signature work look is and what needs to be in your workdrobe, choose one item that’s the cherry on your signature work look. I love a good structured blazer but for you it can be a pair of killer laced up heels or printed blouses. Finish up your whole wool look with a structured bag or white sneakers. Find a signature item that when someone sees that item they instantly get reminded of you.
WORKDROBE CLASSIC ITEMS
Don’t know exactly what your signature work look is? You can never go wrong with classics for your work uniform. You can try out a workdrobe and discover what your signature work look is. Here are some classic items to get:
• Wool slacks — perfect with a wool knitted sweater
• A black structured blazer
• Trench coat
• Girlboss suit — also great for special occasions plus you can wear the items separate
• White blouse
• Structured work bag that can hold all your work essentials
Just like with your Curated Wardrobe, go for neutral colors and never go for cheap fabrics. Not only do cheap fabrics, well, cheap but you’re also spending a lot of time in these items in sometimes heated or uncomfortable situations. Being comfortable and feeling your best is key when you’re working or trying to get a new client.
ALSO READ: CREATE YOUR OWN CHIC CURATED WARDROBE